Origin Research & Innovation Labs

UNECA Side Event at the Kenya Innovation Week 2023 - Commonwealth Edition

November 28, 2023

UNECA, its affiliate Origin Research & Innovation Labs, and partners will host a side event during the Kenya Innovation Week (KiW)- Commonwealth edition.  The KiW, in its 3rd Edition, will run from 27th November to 1st December 2023 at The Edge Convention Centre in South C, Nairobi and is co-hosted by the Commonwealth secretariat. The UNECA side event will be on 28th November and will run for approximately two and a half hours. It will run on the theme: “Unlocking the Potential of AI and Data Science for Wealth and Job Creations”. The side event will host AI experts in research, policy, and development, leading research technology companies, networks, and support organizations, and showcase startups using AI for innovative solutions to vexing problems in Africa.


Event Programme

TimeDetails of the agenda
2:00 - 2:15

Opening Remarks

   Prof. Thomas A. Senaji, Consultant for Digital Transformation Strategy at UNECA, Kenya

   Mr. Geofrey Munari- CEO, Universities Fund Kenya, Kenya  

2:15 - 2:35

Keynote addresses 

Potential of AI in Africa

   (i) Dr. Bright Onapito,

  (ii) Dr. Alexandros Makarigakis, Director and Representative a.i., UNESCO Regional Office for Eastern Africa, Kenya 

2:35 - 3:15

AI and Data Science in Africa: Opportunities and Challenges

Panel Discussions

Session I: The current landscape of AI and data science in Africa.

Mr. John Paul Okwiri,

CEO Konza Technopolis Development Authority;

Prof. Muliaro Wafula CODATA International Science Council Committee;

Ms. Harriet Kariuki: Head of Innovation: Equity Group Holding

Session II: Highlight challenges, opportunities, and success stories. Research and Development:

Dr. Ernest Mwebaze - Sunbird AI

Infrastructure issues and High Performance computing

Prof. Meoli Kharshorda CEO, KENET

Capacity Development

Prof. Ciira Maina, Director, DSAIL, DeKUT;



UNECA's initiatives, projects, and research in AI and data science.

Prof. Ndirangu P. Kioni, Origin Research and Innovation Lab for East Africa

Dr. Dereje Yohannes, Lead Consultant - Digital Centre of Excellence, ECA.

Networking Break 

Showcases – continued

    1. Amini: Mr. Clinton Oduor

    2. Mino Health: Mr. Darlington Akogo

    3. Exodus Mobility: Mr. Jonathan Kola

    4. Villgro Africa : Eng. Wambui Nyabero

  • Recap of key takeaways from the event.
  • Future plans and actions to further AI and data science in Africa.
  • Thank you and farewell